GMG - Las Vegas Weekly

November 7, 2013

Las Vegas Weekly

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A&E | STAGE > COLLEGE VISIT The popular Green Day adaptation is getting revamped during its UNLV stay. SYMBIOTIC IDIOT UNLV hosts a Broadway makeover—and reaps the benefits BY JACOB COAKLEY The lobby of the Judy Bayley auditorium on the UNLV campus is overflowing with road cases shipped in from Seoul. They push into all corners of the theater and even spill out into portable storage containers that Brackley Frayer, head of UNLV's theater program and executive director of the Nevada Conservatory Theatre, brought in to handle the excess. The American Idiot production team might be using its time at UNLV to shrink the show into a smaller stage footprint so it can tour more theaters, but don't tell that to the designers, who are using the retooling opportunity to jam even more inten- here, and the various heads of departments— sity into what is already one of the most in-your-face lighting, scenic, audio, video—just seeing the musicals ever to hit Broadway. immense amount of equipment [and work that "We reduced some of the overhead rigging," goes into a show], that's what the students need says Rhys Williams, technical supervisor on to see." American Idiot, explaining that the show's flyStudents have been on the front lines of the ing sequence has been taken out. But rigging's changeover, fixing and prepping the old gear to loss is lighting's gain, as suddenly Kevin Adams, go back out on the road and making sure it plays who won a Tony for his lighting on Idiot, now nicely with the new gear. has even more space to add lighting gear, and he's "They've been working from 7 in the mornusing the show's two-week UNLV encampment ing to 7 or 8 at night," Frayer says. "For to take full advantage of it. "Every scene them it's huge, and it's huge for us, too." is being looked at and improved," says AMERICAN In exchange for use of the theater, the Williams, mentioning that the projecIDIOT producers are donating two benefit pertion, costumes, choreography and a host November formances this weekend at Judy Bayley, of other elements are being revisited and 8, 7:30 p.m.; all proceeds going to support the Nevada upgraded—which has translated into a November 9, 2 p.m.; $25Conservatory Theatre. "It's really a wingreat opportunity for Frayer and the $50. UNLV's win situation," Frayer says, "and the rollUNLV students. Judy Bayley er coaster is still going." He reaches for "Students get the experience, netTheatre, 895his ringing cell phone, already heading working and résumé-building effects," 2787. back into the theater for more work. Frayer says. "They have 15 crew people MEDIUM SPICE AMERICAN IDIOT PHOTO BY SAM MORRIS Sin City Opera makes Gian Carlo Menotti's original sing Sin City Opera's production of The Medium blurs the line between psychological and occult thriller, yet keeps the internal drama of Gian Carlo Menotti's opera intact. The story follows unscrupulous fortune-teller Madame Flora, who, with the help of daughter Monica and mute servant boy Toby, cons grieving parents out of money to contact their dead children in the afterlife. The powerful singing, combined with a suspenseful, slinky score, makes for an emotionally affecting evening, with a final twist to cap off the night. ¶ Marcie Ley, Matthew Kirchner and Kim Glover weave tight harmonies as a chorus of grieving parents, with Ley and Glover giving particularly beautiful turns as grieving mothers. As the ingénue Monica, Johnson has a full sound throughout her range, making both the short trills of a baby's laugh and THE MEDIUM her second-act aria, "Monica's Waltz," November 8 & well-colored and emotional. As Flora, 9, 8 p.m., $15. Stephanie Sadownik has good articulaOnyx Theatre, tion and menace, delivering a forceful 732-7225. and triumphant "Afraid, Am I Afraid?" They're all ably supported by the skilled playing of Toby McEvoy (keyboard), Lindsay Johnson (cello) and Bryan Wente (clarinet). ¶ Director Renato N. Estacio takes the opera into dangerously literal territory, making Toby the incarnation of a demon, possessing those around him, changing the psychological tension of the piece into straight thriller territory. It leads to some confusing staging at points, as he tries to shoehorn the piece to fit the conception, but the tension is still there, whether psychological or supernatural, and the final tableau has a fun jolt. –Jacob Coakley aaaac NOVEMBER 7–13, 2013 LASVEGASWEEKLY.COM 45_Stage_20131107.indd 45 45 11/6/13 4:18 PM

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